Truly these are strange days, and only getting stranger. In addition to our regularly updating Coffee & Coronavirus live blog, we here at Sprudge will be bringing you a series of common sense ways you can support the coffee industry and continue enjoying delicious coffee as part of your daily life here in March 2020.
Right now the service industry in America is hanging perilously in a kind of COVID limbo. Italy has introduced a mandatory nationwide quarantine on nearly all shops and services, including coffee shops. This has led to many cafe closures, including at landmark Italian third wave cafe and roaster Ditta Artiganale (they're still selling coffee online). Something similar like this could be coming to the United States in the coming weeks, but for now cafes are open nationwide, which means baristas are at work and ownership are instituting a wide range of amplified sanitation efforts to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
If you are currently well enough in your life to go out in the world and visit cafes, I need you to listen to me right now: you need to tip. No, listen again. You need to fucking tip like you have never tipped before. You need to tip as though the solidarity of humankind is dependent on which button you touch on the transaction screen. Better yet, tip cash—drop a $20 in the tip jar if you can swing it. Leave a hundo if it's no big deal, tech job work-from-home daddy that you are. Tip lavishly; egregiously; ostentatiously. Tip so hard it would be an eye roll in normal times, because these are not normal times, and that shit will be appreciated.
This is true every day in America—if you go out for coffee, you need to tip—but it is especially true today. The social compact we ascribed to as a society is dangerously frayed at the moment and you would be shocked, and I mean shocked, to learn the degree to which a bit of voluntary manual wealth redistribution goes to address it.
Tip, dammit. Tip like our society depends on it. Because it just might.
Jordan Michelman (@suitcasewine) is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network.
Original art by Zachary Carlsen.